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Gardening in South Africa

As part of the xeriscape or drought tolerant garden, the stunning Geraldton Wax Plant can’t be beat!

Picture courtesy Ross Funnell - see her flickr pagePicture courtesy Ross Funnell - see her flickr pageWhen in full bloom the geraldton wax plant looks like a billowing cloud of cotton candy as the branches sway in the breeze. The needle-thin leaves can be bright to dark-green, depending on the season, and contrast beautifully in texture and colour with the shiny berry-like buds arranged in open sprays along the ends of the stems, and the lush clusters of waxy, star-shaped flowers. If you crush the leaves, they emit a pleasant lemony scent, and the flowers have a sweet, honey fragrance, oozing nectar and attracting butterflies, bees, and other pollinating insects; particularly on warm, late winter or spring days.

The Firebush is a voluptuous tropical beauty which produces flowers and berries all year round.

Hamelia patens at Enchanting Floral Gardens of Kula, Maui, Hawaii. Picture courtesy Forest and Kim Starr - see their flickr pageHamelia patens at Enchanting Floral Gardens of Kula, Maui, Hawaii. Picture courtesy Forest and Kim Starr - see their flickr pageThe firebush is a reliable tropical plant that has found its way into many a landscape because of its  proven drought  and soil tolerance – it can basically grow anywhere!  It is native to the American subtropics and tropics, ranging from the gulf states of Mexico, South Florida, the West Indies, and Central and South America, as far south as Argentina. It is a member of the Rubiaceae family, and other notable members of this family include Ixora, Gardenia, Pentas, Quinine and Coffee.

Boxwood has been modernised and is seen in almost any style of garden today.

Buxus macowanii Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaBuxus macowanii Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaBoxwoods are popular with gardeners for their attractive, compact, and low spreading growth habit. Their versatility is renowned and these garden plants can be pruned successfully into just about any shape you desire.

Buxus is a genus of about 70 species in the family Buxaceae, with members widely distributed throughout the temperate counties of the globe, excluding America and Australia. The Common Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) and the English Boxwood (Buxus microphylla 'Faulkner') are quite well-known in South Africa, but did you know we have our very own Boxwood, which is just as versatile?

The Butterfly Bush will bloom almost continuously from spring to autumn.

The butterfly bush is strikingly beautiful, and because blue remains the most rare and sought-after flower colour for gardens, this plant fits the bill perfectly with its heavenly blue to purple flowers which resemble fanciful butterflies, hence its common name "blue butterfly bush." The fluttering flower panicles sprout from the ends of long arching branches, and each flower has one violet-blue petal and four pale blue ones, framed by long purple anthers which bend elegantly upwards, hence its other common name "blue cat's whiskers".

The plant will bloom almost continuously from spring to autumn, but typically flowers most heavily when the temperatures cool down in autumn. The flowers are a firm favourite with carpenter bees and lure butterflies with their nectar; and the showy, black fleshy fruits are devoured by birds and monkeys.

The Chelsea Flower Show - Trailfinders South African Wine Estate Garden

The Chelsea Flower Show means different things to different people; for some it’s all about the horticultural displays from all over the world in the Great Pavilion, for others it’s the show gardens or even the smaller more accessible Artisan ones, but one thing unites everyone: new and unusual plants, and plants never before seen at the Show.


Gardening in the Shade

shade book

Growing Vegetables in South Africa

Growing Bedding Plants in South Africa

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